Evidence-Based Practice in the Health Sciences

More EBP

Formulate focused clinical questions with the PICO mnemonic.
Search for EBP resources, studies, and more.
Critically appraise information for reliability and relevancy.
Review study designs and levels of evidence.
Discover resources for teaching evidence-based practice concepts.

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

Venn Diagram of EBP components: best research evidence, clinical expertise, and patient values

Evidence-based practice is "the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research."

Sackett DL, Rosenberg WM, Gray JA, Haynes RB, Richardson WS. Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn't. BMJ. 1996;312(7023):71-72.


Five A's of the Health Information Cycle

There are five A's that can help you remember the process of evidence-based practice.


Develop a specific, searchable question.


Utilize EBP resources to locate a high quality information source(s) to answer your question.


Critically appraise the information to ensure that the evidence is reliable and relevant to the patient.


Combine the evidence you've acquired and appraised with your clinical expertise and patient's values to determine a course of action and apply the it to the patient.


Reflect on the process and consider ways to improve in the future.

Learn More

Check out An Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice, a self-paced, interactive tutorial developed by the Medical Center Library at Duke University and the Health Sciences Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.